The QBE Sydney Swans Academy youth program has returned to action as COVID 19 restrictions begin to ease across New South Wales.

Hundreds of kids will recommence their training program with the Academy over the next week with the Under 15 Academy Cup taking place at Lakeside Oval on Wednesday night. 

Head of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy Chris Smith said it was great having everyone back and taking part in footy again.

“It is very exciting for everyone involved in the QBE Sydney Swans Academy program,” Smith said.

“Parents, players and coaches have been eagerly anticipating the start of the Academy program, so there was a sense of celebration last night.

“From the north and south academies, and from the Academy Cup last night, you couldn’t wipe the smile off their faces.”

The North Coast Academy also recommenced its program on Wednesday evening, with Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour players taking part in a super session.

A limited number of age groups returned this week, with all youth age groups back from Monday, July 6. 

The QBE Sydney Swans Academy’s top-end talent program started modified training last week and will start full squad training on Thursday evening.

Smith said the way the top-end talent had conducted themselves during the shut-down, in such an important year in their development pathway, was nothing short of remarkable.

“We are very proud of this group, given the uncertainty they have faced,” Smith said.

“There’s still uncertainty, but the players are committed to rolling up their sleeves and working hard at each and every training session.

“It’s remarkable how well they presented at training – they arrived fit, strong and skilful.” 

Smith said he remains optimistic that the Academy’s top-end talent will get the chance to showcase their skills in front of AFL recruiters at some point this season.

“We’re really looking forward to competitive games commencing, as we think this group of players is a very talented bunch of footballers,” he said.